Kenya’s fresh produce exports to the European Union have dropped by 46pc in the last two weeks following the global spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Horticulture has so far been most affected with flowers firms having to shed of over 30,000 casual workers and sent over 40,000 permanent staff on compulsory leave as the industry battles to survive the aftershocks of the coronavirus lockdown.
“Only 50 percent of our nationwide workforce is currently working with the percentage expected to plummet to 25 percent in the coming two to three weeks,” said Kenya Flower Council chief executive Officer Clement Tulezi said.
“Our members who export flowers, fresh vegetables and fruits are counting huge losses. Growers who sell direct to the auction in Holland are destroying the entire consignment of flowers and this translates to a loss of between Sh1.8 billion and Sh2.2 billion per month.” Mr Wesley Siele, Chief Executive Officer of Agricultural Employers Association (AEA) which oversees the operations of 94 flower companies in the country says.
In a similar trend the price of the Kenyan coffee fell 8pc this week on effects of the virus with Nairobi Coffee Exchange indicating a 50-kilo bag of the produce on average fetched Sh19,998 down from Sh21,836 in the previous trading.
The price of maize flour is expected to skyrocket due to the panic buying that may see reduced stock. The Ministry of Agriculture says that a recent survey indicated that the available stocks of maize will be exhausted at the end of April.
Kenya was already battling desert locust invasions and the disruption in the market is set to upset the economy heavily
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